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Maid of the Mist launching new electric boats

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The Maid of the Mist is going electric. The company that runs the popular Niagara Falls boat tour is replacing its diesel-powered boats with two new zero-emission, battery-powered vessels.

The new catamarans will cut down on engine noise and exhaust fumes for passengers. Maid of the Mist President Christopher Glynn says the new boats will help keep Niagara Falls as pristine as possible.

"The technology is now available where we can do this on a reasonable basis and keep the batteries charged and still run the operation. It seems natural for us to do that, with the hydroelectric power generation that goes on here," Glynn said.

The boats are currently under construction in Wisconsin. Modules will be transported to Niagara Falls in mid-May for assembly and will be put into service in September. Two current boats, built in the 1990s, will be removed from service once that happens.

"There's a lot more room per passenger on the boat. The views from the upper deck are going to be magnificent," Glynn said.

The Maid of the Mist has been ferrying passengers at the Falls since 1846, making it one of North America's longest-running tourist attractions.

WBFO's Omar Fetouh contributed to this report.